It’s weird how locales seem to change along with the traveling individual and their experiences. You’ve doubtless all heard the expression, “You’ve taken X (earthquakes, rain, clouds, etc) with you” when you travelled to a new place and found that something unforeseen and unexpected to the residents happens soon after your own arrival. These experiences, however, aren’t new to you, and people seem amazed at your jaded placidity.
When I travelled to Oklahoma last year, a spate of earthquakes hit the state. This wasn’t new to me, but it was to everyone else there. The generally apocalyptic weather that this state effortlessly summons seems preternatural and somehow unfair. Like there’s some metaphysical agenda against this pancake land, mocking the attempts of these walking bags of blood and bone to dominate nature by turning their finest architectural achievements into junkyard scraps. It actually helped me theorize the abundant penchant for religiosity in the weather-stricken Bible Belt. Theological abstractions must be conjured in order to persevere, and this particular streak also inserts itself into the ubiquitous football discourse (“Boomer Sooner” actually means “Go God/Jesus/BBQ/ Toby Keith!”).
Anyway. I arrived back in Alaska and it seemed to turn into Oklahoma. It was unseasonably warm, with 80 mph wind gusts that I have literally never seen here. Last week, a friend of a friend told him he saw lightning. Yes. Lightning during an Alaskan snowstorm in December. A truly freak occurrence, even during the summer, let alone dead winter.
I went running in the windy, icy street outside my mother's place yesterday, and felt like I needed Yeti blood just to keep going.
One last note. I seem to have a frustrating knack for meeting incredible, beautiful, intelligent women on flights from one random city I’ll never even be close to and another equally distant from my usual location. This particular knack seems, at once, bittersweet, somewhat cool for its rarity and storybookishness, and also painfully sadistic (lol). I once had a flight from Phoenix to Seattle with someone I connected with on every single level. Mind sparks flew, and we ended up having a two-hour layover after the flight and hung out at the airport. Alas, it ended with email exchanges and all, but we ended up flying two opposite directions and eventually lost touch. This scenario happened again on this most recent flight, and makes me wonder why I can make ephemeral encounters with beautiful, intelligent, professional women of my age in metal tubes five miles above the surface of the earth, but rarely when I’m firmly attached to a small segment of soil I happen to inhabit for long periods of time. Yargh.
Anyway, it also gives me some reason to be optimistic after feeling particularly nauseous about the whole romantic thing lately.